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Poster: DanInTanzania Date: Dec 4, 2006 12:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

I'm looking to move away from the "classics" and find those shows where the playing might not have been perfect but was truly INSPIRING; perhaps shorter shows that were different or unique, that had something special. A way to give the collection some more depth and range. What are the 3 most under-rated shows. Mine would be (none of these are in the deadbase top 500 of course)

1. 4-12-78 Duke. Best encore ever (US Blues)? Best Row Jimmy? Minglewood? Mexicali? Jack Straw with Donna doing a lot of the work. Should probably be a top ten--they were even blowing whistles during Truckin so something was really on. (
2. 4-15-70 Winterland. Anything with A Man's World is worth it but this Other One->Drum->Jam etc is truly unique. Lovelight->Not Fade Away->Lovelight with bob a bit out of hand; what more can be said. (
3. 4-12-77 Spectrum. This one got me into '77. Peggy-O, Estimated Prophet, Fire.(

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Poster: Iko Jim Date: Dec 4, 2006 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

Come on.... I realize that we all have our own taste etc...

I do love the Duke show, and maybe it is very underrated, but when you start your argument by saying that the US Blues(was there a more overplayed encore?), is the best encore ever, I can't take the rest of your post seriously. With all the Terrapin/Shakedown/Good Love/Sugar Mag/UJB/Cold Rain/Werewolves not to mention the more conventional Baby Blue/Brokedown/Satisfaction/JGB etc. encores out there, you pick (any) US Blues??? And don't forget the Dark Star encore at the Greek in '84, even if it was less than perfect, it blows away any US Blues. Also I can't count how many times I heard the whistles during Truckin, it does not signify anything special.

This post was modified by Iko Jim on 2006-12-04 15:44:29

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Dec 4, 2006 7:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

I would second 4-12-78 being one of the THE great underrated shows ever. I don't have the Dead Database so I don't know whether that or my other choices would be in their top rated or not, but based on the fact that I only found my way to 4-12-78 very recently and have never heard tremendous mention of the following shows before, I would add to the list of undernoted AND excellent shows:

5-1-81 Hampton, VA., which I think gets overlooked mostly based on what appears to be a very ordinary set list. But the show itself, the versions of the songs played, including a mind blowing LIG>DEAL to end set one, and a confident run of 2nd set gems like THE WHEEL make it a keeper. In fact, I'll put the first set of 5-1-81 up against any of that Brent era.

9-25-81, Lehigh, PA. Another first set monster and while not as pristinely played as 5-1-81 (lyrical flubs in Fire, for exapmle) this show is more ambitious in the places it tries to go. The Scarlet>Fire alone fascinates me in this show b/c it takes chances most others don't. Jerry takes many routes to get to the fire, some are left dangling, other re-connect with the whole, but the splashdown into Fire is just stellar, and drives the Fire ahead into a version that doesn't lose momentum, in fact gains it, unlike some others that feel worn down from the weight of the Scarlet before it. But the 2nd set just rages on from there and really is a winner. Tough to find a clean sounding version, though. The AUD is OK, SBD leaves something to be desired.

I've often thought if you took set one from 5-1-81 and combined it w/set two of 9-25-81 you'd have the perfect Brent era Dead show.

I'll also throw in a mention for 10-30-77, (which is the following night from my all time favorite show, which I can't call underrated b/c I refuse to call it anything but magnificent).

So hard for many '77 shows to stand out because of May alone, not to mention that Fall run and the killer Winterland finish. But this one is a quiet gem. Beautiful Peggy-O, stunningly fantastic LazyLightning>Supplication, and a solid Playing sandwich in the 2nd set w/'77-standardly great Other One, Wheel, Wharf Rat in the middle.

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Poster: BlueMtnMan Date: Dec 4, 2006 11:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

FYI I was one of the lucky ones who attended this show. US Blues a standard encore that was not a favorite. But on this night it took the audiance to frenzy never experienced before or again. OK, personal memories don't account for much in the way of a review? So I attach the text notes of the seeder.

THE ENCORE: U. S. Blues...

Okay, it's an "old song" by now (played SEVENTY THREE times prior to this show, and used many times as an Encore)...

And okay, probably more than "a few dozen" people decided to bolt for the exits when the first chords of this song began to be played. It initially sounded like a "typical show closer", just being played for the sake of having something to play, and the Boyz just wanting to get it over with.

All that I can say to the people who left early is: "TOO FRIGGIN' BAD"! When I think that they missed out on what has to be the BEST version of this song EVER PERFORMED LIVE!

EVERY single member of The Dead are still totally immersed in this inexplicable "Cameron Energy Vortex"! They have proved that they are "A Band Beyond Description" for the past TWO HOURS AND FORTY-THREE MINUTES! They have given the audience a performance that is aurally reflected in this recording; taking colors, which represent the many huge and many subtle aspects of performing in this show, and painted a picture which no one can describe but everyone "understands".

The encore in this show had to have the building shaking to a point where people outside the venue may have thought that there was a 8.0 magnitude earthquake going on inside the building!

Jerry is literally going crazy on stage, like an whirling dervish who downed 2 gallons of Starbuck's finest brew! Never have I heard him sing ANY encore with such enthusiasm and volume levels that made him appear to be a "screaming wild man" bouncing off the padded walls of an asylum! And there's nothing that can stop release of energy that was being bottled up prior to this song... it prevails, it pulses, and it's permiating EVERY atom one each of the band members.

I know Jerry was up there on stage, grinning from ear to ear, for the entire song; Phil was off into his own universe of the cosmos; Bobby had to be doing his Rock Star act "Vaudville-style"; Keith isn't tickling the ivories, but banging on them like some guy trying to get a bartender's attention in a crowded pub; Donna's dancing her butt off, whirling and spinning near her microphone; and Mickey and Billy are just playing like 2 peas in a pod... so identical in their riffs and styles and sounds, and yet still being unique in their own ways.

Jerry's vocal and guitar playing levels, starting in the first third of the song all the way to the very last string plucked, that you KNOW the sound people are constantly adjusting his compression and limiting, not to mention the mixer channel levels, just to keep any distortion at bay! You can hear them making adjustments once they realize what is going on. So even though you KNOW that Jerry is screaming into his mike, the recorded sound is not as loud as you would imagine; but you certainly can tell how much he's pushing the envelope! I'm wondering how many throat lozenges he had to toss back once they began to unwind after the show...

Obviously you entitled to your opinion but to blast someone on theirs is crass.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 4, 2006 9:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

Goes to show, you never can tell...never would have guessed; I saw some good performances of this song in the mid 70s where they really cooked, but this descriptions suggests something really special.

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Dec 4, 2006 7:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

I don't know if these are the most underrated "of all time" because virtually every show in circulation has someone, somewhere, who rates it pretty highly. However, these are three that I don't often hear much about but which I've found myself reaching for often over the years.

10-2-77 Portland, Or
First Dupree's since '69, first Casey since before the layoff, outstanding Scarlet>Fire. Not an especially long or "spacey" show but very energetic and focused.
3-31-73 Buffalo NY
This show has an absolute titanic stretch run despite lacking many of the common late-set songs of the era (i.e., Dark Star, Eyes)
5/25/77 Richmond
Here's one that absolutely and unfairly gets overshadowed by the shows that surround it in this legendary month. However, taken away from the May '77 hysteria and presented on its own it's really quite an outstanding effort. Would have been a Top 10 in '78, maybe even a Top 5.

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Poster: countmlbjam Date: Dec 4, 2006 9:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

I like most of the above mentioned choices. Here are three that come to my mind.

1. 12-13-80, check out the aud on the archive
2. 11-14-73, it gets respect, but other shows from this month get all the hype i.e. 11-11, 11-17, 11-21, 11-30.
3. 5-4-77, I love 5-25 as well, but this is my favorite show of the month and definitely my favorite "comes a time."

Here are three honorable mentions, 12-8-73, 8-28-81, 5-10-91

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Poster: HiRoller Date: Dec 4, 2006 10:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

"Would have been a Top 10 in '78, maybe even a Top 5."

What are you talking about MAYBE? That show has been my favorite for as long as I have been listening to the Dead. Maybe it's because it was the first show that I listened to (being from Richmond I figured I should listen to the shows that I would have gone to had I been able to). Other than that my top 3 under-rated shows are:

6-09-77 Winterland Arena
Maybe it's not under-rated (it has a 5 star rating with 36 revies), but I rarely hear anyone mention this show. The entire first set, other than Sunrise, has got a great groove going throughout. The Help-Slip-Frank in the second set is what makes this show for me, one of the best I've heard.

5-01-81 Hampton, VA
Agree with pretty much everything Grendel says. The first set has so much energy, and the entire show is pretty much one big jam. One of my favorite audience recordings, you just pick up all the excitement everyone's feeling.

1-17-69 Santa Barbara, CA
I don't listen to that much early Dead, preferring that late 70's and early 80's, but this show is one of my favorites from that time period. I really like how much energy the guys had back then, the shows just seem really powerful, putting everything they have into the music.

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Poster: elkdog Date: Dec 4, 2006 7:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 3 most under-rated GD shows of all time

Man, must be something about income taxes that really got the boys going.